The University of Stirling is a university situated in the outskirts of Stirling, Scotland. The university was created in 1967 after the Robbins Report. The main campus at Stirling is about 3 miles out of Stirling city centre. There are additional small campuses in Inverness and Stornoway for nursing and midwifery students.
Health and Welfare
There is a doctors' surgery on campus next to Geddes Court and opposite AKD, it isn't far from any other on-campus residences. If you want an appointment then you just go in and ask at the reception or you can call up. If you want a same day appointment then you need to be on the phone at 8am when they open as these are hard to come by. For anyone coming from abroad who is unfamiliar with the system, the NHS foots the bill for everything and you will not be asked to pay.
In the same building as the doctors' surgery is a dentist where you are advised to register for emergency cover at the same time as registering for the Doctor but most people get their routine dental check ups at home in the long breaks as it is more convenient for them.
In the Atrium there is a Pharmacy where you can bring your prescription or if you are getting a repeat prescription from the surgery on campus, they will send it there for you. Again if you are unaware, in Scotland there are no prescription charges and the NHS pays for all your prescribed medication.
In Stirling City centre there are a multitude of Opticians where eye tests are free and so you can utlise this service if you wish.
There is counselling and support available and widely accessible on campus, as well.
The Library is located in the Atrium and is bright and airy having been refurbished a couple of years ago. The Library is split onto four floors with books split depending on the length of time you are allowed to loan them and with study areas and computers on each floor, on the access level is the Information Services helpdesk where you should go if you have any problem with CampusNet or the like.
You can order texts via the Student Portal as well as accessing any online facilities the Uni is subscribed to including back catalogues of many journals and newspapers etc.
The Library can get very crowded especially around exam time and so you might consider making use of alternate study spaces including the "Social Study Zone" right next to the Library that is essentially just a room with a lot of desks but is never as crowded as the Library itself so you are more likely to find a table. The computers in the Library get snapped up quickly so try one of the computer labs in Cottrell - there are loads of them and especially once all classes are finished at 6pm or over the weekend, they are guaranteed to be empty.
The retail area on-campus is in the Atrium, you'll find the following:
The Campus Supermarket relaunched the same time as the new Library. It's open from 8am to midnight through the semesters, and 8am to 10pm non semester. It has a surprisingly wide range and its very convenient. It's very popular at lunch times as it has a large selection of fresh foods. It also stocks products for the international students. Offers are really good and alcohol is available at a reasonably cheap price.
There is the Pharmacy that has already been mentioned which as well as serving your medical needs sells shampoo, nail polish and make up etc and not particularly competitive rates. There is a Unicorn travel agency which will very rarely get used by students but invariably has a man working in it late into the night - if you are planning any jaunts then the rates advertised in the window do actually look cheap and I have heard of them sorting out good deals for people.
The newsagents is open 8am - 6pm on weekdays and is closed at the weekend, they cell cigarettes, sweets and papers. The Guardian is half price in here and so is by consequence the most popular of the papers they sell at only 60p.
The book shop sells all the course text books at RRP so if you buy in there you are going to be ripped off and if you don't need it urgently it makes a lot of sense to have a look on Amazon however if you are lazy and buy from here they will normally buy the book back at half it's price at the end of the semester which can recoup some of your costs.
The Union Shop sells Stirling University branded merchandise ranging from hoodies to diaries as well as a range of stationary and some cards for when you suddently remember it is your sister/mum/dad's birthday. Be aware though, prices are high as their the only shop with Stirling University clothing and the shop manager is very snobby.
There's a Tesco, Morrisons and a Sainsbury's in town as well as Tesco Express and a Co-op in Bridge of Allan. If you want to go to a proper supermarket, there is a large ASDA in Alloa which is ten minutes away by car or you can order online. If a few flat mates order together, it really is very cheap to get groceries delivered online and saves the hassle of carrying heavy shopping in from the town.
For leisure shopping, in the city centre, the Thistle's centre can handle most of your needs. While most of the shops are not massive, you can get a basic wardrobe easily. Expect to see most of your usual chain shops including WHSmith, Topshop, New Look, Superdrug, Boots, Primark, HMV, Marks & Spencer, H&M, La Senza and loads of others.
Haldanes (down the stairs on the left just before the link bridge as you head from the Atrium to Cotrell) and the Pathfoot Eatery have very similar menus and are your typical canteens serving a range of food some of which is nice and some which is not. These are slightly overpriced but OK if you don't go too often and are mostly frequented by a mix of staff and students on short term exchanges.
Studio (Union Bar) serves cheap food every day. On weekday lunchtimes you can choose from Macaroni Cheese, Curly Fries, Chips, Jacket Potato, Salad and daily specials including a veggie option. In the evenings and at weekends they serve burgers and pizzas.
Undergroud which is a little cafe just below the Union serves Starbucks branded hot drinks alongside snack food such as paninis.
Stir Cafe is another little cafe in the Atrium serving hot drinks and light meals.
Food on the move is the fast food bar in the middle of the atrium which is always busy and particularly popular with Asian students.
There is a little sandwich shop in the Atrium which has just relaunched itself as an alternative subway.
The MacRobert Centre serves food that is a bit fancier and therefore more expensive, they don't have a set menu so you need to call by and check the specials board if you plan on eating in there.
Bridge of Allan
The Westerton Arms is the pub on the high street which is popular for special dinners and to escape Students serving your standard pub lunches throughout the day.
The Royal Ashoka is a little indian restaurant that survives mostly as a takeaway but has a few tables and is a great place to have a quiet meal out.
Clive Ramsays is a little place with a good atmosphere especially popular with people who particularly like meaty dishes.
La Cucina is a rather overpriced little restaurant that serves and eclectic mix of different dishes.
Papparazzi is not cheap but it is a very good quality Italian restaurant.
Recently moved out of premises on the high street to a big site up the hill is the other Italian restaurant: La Bologna which is much cheaper but of comparable quality.
There is a little fish and chip shop just down by the river called the Allan Water Cafe that is very reasonably priced and you can either sit in or takeaway, when it is sunny they also do greta ice cream.
There is also a bakery on the high street open in the day time and a little chinese takeaway open in the evenings.
Corrieri's Café, in Causewayhead, is really unpretentious and delicious. It's more of a family restaurant, but for good Italian food it doesn't get any better.
The Birds and the Bees is a renowned restaurant but it is generally out of the price range of students but you can always see about getting your parents to take you there!
Across the railway lines next to the cinema are Nando's and Frankie & Bennie's where you know what you are getting. In the centre of town you've got McDonald's, Greggs, Jimmy Chung's and Subway where again their reputation precedes them. If you have a car then you'll also be able to make it to the KFC and the other McDonalds up by Sainsbury's.
For the best chips in town especially when you are drunk, go to Il Vicolo opposite Oxfam books which is just across the road from Fubar and down the hill from Dusk so it is close after a night out.
No 2 Baker Street, Cape and Sportsters are all pubs that do reasonably priced food that you can enjoy with a drink. Cape especially offers a fantastic deal with Wetherspoons-esque prices PLUS a 20% student discount. Although it can be a little dead sometimes. Indian Cottage and India Brasserie are over priced Indian restaurants, you're better off ordering in from one of the many takeaways. (If you want a takeaway, there will be hundreds of menus in your hall to choose from) NY Slice does the best pizza in Stirling, so much nicer than Domino's and they also offer 2 for Tuesdays now.
There is a Santander on Campus in the Atrium.
There's a Bank of Scotland and a Royal Bank of Scotland in Bridge of Allan, about a mile or so down the road from campus. In Stirling itself, there is a Lloyd's TSB, a Bank of Scotland (open on Saturdays until 3), Barclays, HSBC and a Royal Bank of Scotland and another Santander.
'First' buses have special purple and blue Uni-link buses but also use standard buses labelled UL. You can get a bus from the bus-stop near the MacRobert centre and from the bus stop near the checkpoints you drive through when your parents drop you off at the Uni.
Buses are running all the time, so during the day (8:30am until 6pm) you normally don't have to wait more then 10 minutes for the next one to get there. After 6pm, the Uni-link bus goes to Alexander Court so you don't have to walk far to get home at 1 in the morning! Buses which will take you from town to uni include the UL, 63, 54 (54a, but it goes through Bridge of Allan first) and the 58. Some others will also take you into town, but it's best to check with the driver if you're unsure. There are buses also run late into the night although these are more expensive.
It's £1 for a single, £1.70 for a return and you can also get weekly and monthly passes which become cost effective if you are traveling to and from town on a regular basis e.g. if you have a job. Try and use change for your smaller fares - bus drivers can get cranky and it speeds up bus queues. To get the above fares you will likely be asked to show your student ID card - some drivers are much stricter than others. No student card, no student fare - it's over £2 each way without a student card. A word of warning, they are getting much stricter on the student card front and won't accept your hall card or NUS card, it has got to be your Stirling Uni card.
As a first year you will not be allowed a parking permit for the campus except in extreme circumstances. You can park without one, but it is likely you will be cautioned (they stick a bright yellow sticker on your window, but it's easy to take off with a bit of water. When this happens they take a note of your car's registration number. While I personally have never known anyone who has been banned from campus, it's not something to chance). Once teaching ends (and during mid term breaks), parking permits do not need to be displayed. You also do not need a permit if you are driving to the medical centre or residential services office, though you may chance upon a porter in a bad mood and be forced to three point turn your way back down the road.
To get back into the University using a taxi, it's usually around £10 in the evenings but in the day you can use Sky Cabs for only £6 which can work out cheaper than the bus if there are a group of you heading out. Only get into taxis in licensed pick up points, which in town are outside of Fubar and the train station. Taxis also park outside of Dusk, but this is a take at your own risk area.
If you fancy leaving Stirling for the weekend, there is a train station right in the City Centre and fares are pretty decent with a railcard (which is cheaper to buy online than at the station), you can get to either Edinburgh or Glasgow in about 45 minutes for £5-7.
Stirling has a Careers Development Centre that offers plenty of careers advice from mock job interviews, to an abundance of information. They also run drop-in sessions between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.
You can sign up for a weekly email from the Careers Development Centre where they will send you updates on vacancies for part time jobs, demand for these far exceeds supply so if you want a job you need to act fast and you'll be competing against lots of others.
There is a Chaplaincy in the Atrium, right next to the Student Union and just on from the Campus Shop. They provide all sorts of religious and pastoral services. It's a nice, quiet place to go, and although it's predominantly Christian, they also provide for other religions as well.
The Christian Union is a popular campus society, as is the Christians in Sport group. As well as a Christian Union there is also a Pagan Society and a defunct Islamic Society which you could get going again if you have 9 like minded people. The Chaplaincy does a Catholic Mass on Wednesday evenings.
There are several churches in town, including a Baptist church, and in Dunblane (a ten minute drive) there is a beautiful Church of Scotland cathedral for Sunday services.
If you are that way inclined, there are muslim prayer rooms in the Atrium.
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Freshers' week can be good it just depends on the things they have on. Most places in town will be absolutely heaving so wherever you decide to go, go early if you wish to guarantee entry, normal Uni nights don't apply in Freshers' week as everywhere is as busy as the next but general rule is:
- Mon: Dusk
- Tue: Dusk or Fubar (Tuesday IS Dusk night though)
- Wed: Probably Fubar
- Thurs: Fubar or Dusk (Thursday is almost universally acknowledged as Fubar night, Dusk is just a lot cheaper)
- Sat: Fubar or Dusk
- Sun: Fubar
Be warned, though, Friday and Saturday are not good student nights, and you'll hardly find anyone out. It's when all the schoolkids/interesting local characters head out . Fubar on a Thursday is huge, but Dusk does £1 entry tokens and £1 drinks in the last hour and it's usually really busy as well. Get a vip pass from someone in sports team. The sports team get the money and you get to goto dusk for a quid! Also, there is usually people floating about the atrium with passes getting you to buy one, q jump and cheaper entry, always good if you know you are going out.
There are plenty of people around who are loyal to one or the other, but some hit both on the same night, as they're only a five minute walk apart.
The university itself has a nightclub called Envy, however after Freshers Week it quickly becomes deserted for the rest of the year. Up until 2012, Stirling had a third club called "The Red Room" however it unfortunately ran out of funds. However if you are after an alternative night out there is "EVA" in Bridge of Allan which is a sophisticated (and very expensive!) nightclub located underneath the Adamo, approximately 20 minutes walk from the campus.
There are usually nights on in the union as well but again it can be touch and go, there were 10 days of stuff last year and there were some good nights. They will be pretty well publicised so you won't miss out, but they sell out pretty quickly and there is usually a queue in the Atrium to buy tickets on the day of a big event.
Bars, Pubs and clubs
Popular bars in town are The Corn Exchange (previously Pivo's), Sportsters, the City Walls (although they don't appreciate students very much), and Outback, which are all under a 5 minute walk from the town center. The Corn Exchange is right up the road from the City Walls, and in the other direction is Sportsters, No. 2 Baker Street (much more of a local pub than a student bar), and Drouthy Neebors, which is a funky place that does a good pub quiz. Outback is in the other direction, and is right across the road from Dr. Gorman's, which does good food and cocktail deals. Cape (next door to The Corn Exchange) does £1.50 drinks from Monday to Thursday including pints of Fosters and VK. Mixers for your £1.50 spirits are extra. There are many more pubs in Stirling and it's best to just try a new one if you find your current hole in the wall isn't suiting you.
A good place to start is Stirling's website, instirling.com. This contains a list for sightseeing, walks, events, food and drink and lots more.
Unmissable places in Stirling: Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle. There is bowling at AMF Bowling, a cinema; Vue, a sports centre with swimming pool and climbing wall; The Peak and many clubs, farmers' markets, gigs etc.
Close by is Falkirk, which holds the famous Falkirk Wheel and Callendar House as well as a go-karting place Xtreme Karting. Other attractions include the picturesque village of Culross, Blair Drummond Safari Park, the discount mall Sterling Mills, Knockhill Racing Circuit and many more.
There is no excuse to be 'bored' in Stirling, there is tons to do and see.
Clubs and Societies
Many! There's a Freshers' Fair sometime in the first week so you can meander around, pick up some freebies and sign up for clubs.
They range from political societies, who hold debates regularly, to the Chocolate Appreciation Society and the Rock Society. There is a complete list of all clubs and societies on the Student Association website, susaonline.org.uk, and if there isn't one to interest you it's pretty easy to found your own.
Composed almost entirely of very friendly people – Fred and Nix (President and VP) are very easy to talk to, the meetings tend to be banterful (this is a word you’ll hear a lot on campus) and until our nightclub closed (mutter mutter) the society was responsible for organising Rock Night, which has now moved to Oboru. The Rock Soc also organise discounted transport to gigs and nights out.
Stirling University’s Student Newspaper (shortlisted for the Herald Best Student Newspaper award, no less). Meetings are usually Mondays at 7pm, followed by drinks/pub quiz in Studio. First meeting will be an explanation of how everything works, then the editors will stand up and introduce themselves (News, Politics, Sports, Features, Music, Opinion and Arts). After Dale, our lovely editor, has finished his introduction, the eds stand up and you basically wander over to whichever section takes your fancy. You can go to more than one section, obviously The eds will then ask if you have any ideas or discuss theirs with you, and just plan out a rough idea. They’ll probably ask for your email address so’s they can keep in touch, and bingo! You know people already. Free to join!
Manga and Anime Society of Stirling University Meetings once a week, usually Thursday at 6:30 in a small lecture theater. Meetings vary…you could be watching live action Bleach one week and trying sake the next.
Plenty more clubs and socs, obviously, but these are just a few for anyone worried about not knowing anyone when they come to the Uni and wanting to know some easy socs to make friends in.
The official policy is, if you want an overnight guest you need to sign them in (you'll be provided with a Hall Card soon after arrival) and they will pay £12 per night for a stay in one of the guest rooms or one of your friends who will be away that night will sign them into their room. That's the official policy. Don’t push your luck by sneaking people up too soon, and as long as you behave it doesn't seem the porters will mind too much. There is an official disciplinary procedure for unauthorised guests though, so please take that on board.
There is no 'signing in' (where one of your on-campus friends wants to come in after 11 and you need to sign them in and they show their student card) during in exam periods and if someone makes a complaint about noise then, the porters have to take it v. seriously.
There are a number of laundry facilities available on campus. The main one that serves most of the residences is Polwarth Laundry, these are open to about 2am, ideal for late-night laundry. Alexander Court has the benefit of 24-hour laundry. To use the laundry machines, you have to put £4 into a machine which gives you a card to last 2 washes and 2 tumble dries. Some residences have pay by the use machines where it's £1.40 for a wash and 20p per 12mins of drying. They do not give change or take 5p peices.
First years are usually put into Halls. Each individual hall brings something different to the table, but all halls tend to be quite similar in some respects. All halls have cleaners in daily to empty the bins, and have nasty kitchens with teensy fridges, and all rooms are quite small. First year halls are AKD, ASH, Geddes and Murray, which have 24-hour porter cover; all other accommodation is flats or chalets which have mostly 9-to-5 porter cover. All residences are self-catering.
Geddes Court Don't believe everything you here about 'the Ghetto'. Yes, someone lost an eye last year through duelling with broom handles, and they did have an STD outbreak, but lots of people have been through and survived (the editor of Brig, the student paper is always saying how great it is). This year, they have had more fire alarms than all other first year halls combined. The thing about Geddes is that because of its reputation, the kind of people who are attracted to it are the ones who sustain its reputation. It's good fun and there's always a party happening - student life at its best - and the people are really laid back. In terms of actual facilities, it's pretty much identical to AKD and Murray but if you're lucky you'll get Wi-Fi in the kitchens. You're not meant to but hey, you're a student. The kitchens have bigger windows than other halls, though.
Murray Hall Biggest first-year hall with around 300 students, best location as it's closest to the bridge across the loch. The ducks on the loch will wake you up! Hasn't been done up yet, but has the best porters - Jim, Kenny and Frank are legends. Kitchens of a low standard, sharing with up to 18 or so others isn't great, but it's really good fun and chances are you'll make your best friends there. If you're real lucky you'll get a room in the 2.33 to 2.40 range; these eight rooms are on the ground floor and have a kitchen and two showers between them which is the best ratio in the hall. There's a TV room with a huge video lending library, a couple of pool tables and foosball, social area and a computer room that you're free to use. Also some vending machines in the social area that can be handy if you run out of food and it's raining/you need to keep working. The West Wing was refurbished more recently than the East, and their desks run lengthways rather than widthways, making the room feel a bit smaller, but also giving better window access. They've also got better carpeting and are a bit cleaner, but the differences are minimal.
AK Davidson Hall AKD is another first-year hall. Not as much of a party hall, but still brilliant banter and some of the best people you meet on nights out are from AKD. A bit smaller than Murray, right across the road from Geddes and the Medical Centre, it's a really good location and just sort of middle of the road facilities (not done up like ASH, but definitely nicer than Geddes or Murray). You get locks on kitchens, bigger kitchen space and cushy carpets.
Andrew Stewart Hall These halls are en-suite, although theres a strange dripping noise when it rains (inside the walls) and big spacious kitchen. West wing most recently done up. Lovely porters, mostly. Girl to boy ratio is quite high, so the bitchiness level is there (I suppose boys don't mind slumming it in a shared shower). Quiet too. Cushty carpets and there is a lot more international students there i've found that anywhere else. These halls are most expensive, but most people think its worth the extra for your own bathroom.
Alexander Court Affectionately referred to as Ally Court. Quite modern and smart, blocks of flats comprising of flats of up to 7 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, so the person to kitchen ratio is much better than in halls. These flats are now mostly used by 1st years as of 2009, but there are some 2nd, 3rd and 4th years about. Quite secluded, about a 15 minute walk from the Atrium and in a really pretty setting above the rugby pitches.
Fraser, Donnelly, Muirhead and Polwarth These are flats which are usually taken up by returning students. Polwarth joins up with ASH when it comes to social activities. Most commonly 6-person flats, 2 bathrooms, one kitchen-living area, Dot the porter is great and will make the occasional sporadic room check to make sure the furniture isn't composting. Fraser flats are the most recent flats to be done up, with double glazing and modern furniture, these are mostly 5-person flats. Donnelly and Muirhead are mostly similar to Polwarth in that most flats are 6-person with 2 bathrooms.
Union Street Development Flats in town for the returning students. Right next to Tesco for all your shopping needs is great, normally 4 or 6 people in each flat with two shower/toilets and a large kitchen. Most have their own phoneline so you can get the internet from who ever you want with out any problem with the uni's network. Not too far to walk from Dusk or Fubar. The walls between bedrooms, kitchen and bathrooms are very thin and the electric heaters are not brilliant. The electricty is also metred and will end up being your biggest expense.
John Forty's Flats of 7 bedrooms, each flat a bit bigger than in the other complexes. You compromise with the location - it's on Causewayhead Road, so it's not really close to campus or town, but it's right on the bus route so realistically it's only about 5 mins to each, and it's walkable if you have the time and energy. It's quite modern, so the flats are nice, and they have living rooms (Union Street doesn't). However some flats do have a mould problem, which doesn't seem to be properly taken care of.
Chalets The chalets are individual Scandinavian-style cottages with 5 bedrooms. They are at both the top of campus, right near the Pathfoot Building (Pendreich Way), and the bottom of campus, 2 minutes from Causewayhead Road (Spittal Hill). The Spittal Hill chalets are lots of fun, on a warm day everyone takes the furniture outside to sunbathe, barbeque and kick a ball around. It's all 2nd year students and above, and it's really relaxed and a lot more independent than any of the other flats. Chalets are very popular accommodation for people on sports teams.
Student ID Card
Your student ID card is also used as your library card, so when you access your library record, there is a number on the front of your card which you type in. It acts as student I.D. for the bus, the student union, and for claiming your lovely student discounts. Try not to lose it as it costs £10 to replace (as does your Hall card) so if you do it's not the end of the world, and you need it for the exams so the folks walking around can check you're who you say you are.
Campus - we have ducklings, ducks, squirrels, bunnies, rabbits, swans and one noisy goose. There are maps of the campus in the recycling leaflets and visitors guides you can pick up in your hall reception, and I would recommend having a wander around to get your bearings and have a rough idea where everything is.
The Cottrell building is a right bugger to find your way around, but you can ask, and when you wander you'll probably go past rooms you'll need to find in the future anyway.
Based on a Norwegian prison. Yeah, the '60's was a crazy time for architecture.
Stirling is a medium-sized city in Central Scotland and has a wide range of shops, attractions, pubs and clubs. It is about an hour's drive from the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow and half an hour from the town of Falkirk.
Excellent teaching ratings for economics, sociology, theology, business studies, psychology and English show Stirling’s strength in the arts and social sciences. Among the sciences, only environmental science matched this.
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